SPOKANE VALLEY, Wash. — After reaching a tentative agreement, the Central Valley School District has approved a new contract for teachers.
The district serves schools in Spokane Valley and Liberty Lake.
The new contract ensures teachers with a bachelor's degree and no prior experience will receive a five thousand dollar increase in pay. This is nearly a 13 percent pay increase.
A teacher with a master's degree or doctorate with the highest ongoing education will see an increase of more than $17,000. This comes out to a 22 percent pay increase, with a salary of over $95,000.
Earlier this month, the Central Valley School District reached a tentative agreement on teacher salary increases. Spokane Public Schools and Mead School District had already reach agreements.
Members of the Cheney teachers union also held a rally outside district offices today demanding a salary increase on Monday.
It is of the last public school district in the Spokane area that has yet to reach a teacher salary agreement.
Monday was the first day of mediation between Cheney Public Schools district and the Cheney Education Association, which is the teachers union. A mediator has helped the two parties reach some sort of agreement with a new contract.
Union members gathered outside the superintendent's office and marched around the whole building. The ended at the corner of the building where they hoped the district would hear their chants.
Cheney Public Schools' first day of school was at the end of August and teachers are currently working without a contract. The previous contract expired August 31.
Salary negotiations in school districts across Washington state stem from the McCleary Decision, in which the state supreme court ruled that Washington was not properly funding public education.
The McCleary Decision was named after one of the families that filed a lawsuit against Washington state in 2007 for "for not meeting its constitutional obligation to amply fund a uniform system of education."
In June 2018, the Washington State Supreme court ruled that Washington satisfied conditions of the McCleary decision, which triggered extra funding for public school districts. This includes $2 billion in the current budget for teachers’ salaries. The problem districts are facing now is how to distribute that money.